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JOHN CLIFFORD
English clergyman
(1836 - 1923)

Believe in God, believe in nature, and do your duty; and the farm life, with its regular round of duties, its simple loves, its high thoughts, its wise economies, its immediate touch of earth, its charming gossip, its pleasant human interests, and its many windows through which we may catch sight of the face of God, will yield us all we, need for a simple, manly, godly life.
      - [Harvest Home]

Do not despise your work. Do it well. Be a whole man to it while you are at it. Israel's great men did not think it beneath them to inspect their flocks. The patriarchs were shepherds and cultivators of the soil. Job was a shepherd. Moses was a shepherd. David looked well after his flocks. Gideon was accosted by God when he was threshing wheat. A great and noble life does not depend on rank or place, but on purpose, faith, love, character and service.
      - [Harvest Home]

So the life of agricultural industry has better guaranties than the crowns of kings. Husbandry is more secure than the treasures of the great. Nature is exhaustlessly reproductive. Let men have free access to and free use of it, and its cultivation will be a sure source of support for the family and a source of progress for the nation. "He that tilleth his land shall have plenty of bread." Mother Earth cares for her children. The landscape of the farm is full of divine feeling and rich in suggestions that inspire calm and quicken industry. It throbs with the tender heart of God. It is alive. In its simple and steady processes it reveals the Father's care for His children.
      - [Harvest Home]

The husbandman is close to the heart of nature, lives in touch with God, and so, more than many, shares His deep content, His tranquility, and builds up a character of hardy independence, of kindly considerateness for His servants, and of helpful ministry to the poor.
      - [Harvest Home]

We therefore welcome our Christmas in December. The "worship of Christ" could not have a better setting than amid the domestic festivities, social forces, and generous and man helping deeds of our merry Christmas-tide. In no more fitting way can we say farewell to the closing year, and All hail! to the new. "Christ is born." We therefore must put off the old man--his moroseness and selfishness, his sadness and despair, his peevishness and fretfulness, his feebleness and decay--and put on the new man, which, after Christ, is created in true joy, large faith, energetic service, lowly duty, devout obedience, and death-daring self-sacrifice.
      - [Christmas]


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